WMRA Feature

Virginia Votes Today

Nov 4, 2019

Virginia's election stations are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5th.  All 140 seats in the General Assembly are on the ballot, and there may be some local races on your ballot, too.

Randi B. Hagi

Sixty years ago, a Piedmont airliner crashed into Bucks Elbow Mountain near Crozet, killing 26 of the 27 people on board. Yesterday, one of the plane’s landing gear wheels was returned to rest at the crash site. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Kid Pan Alley / https://www.kidpanalley.org/

Virginia’s Kid Pan Alley is on a mission to empower children to create their own music.  The group works with children to give kids an opportunity to work together to write their own song – both music and lyrics.

Randi B. Hagi

In September, 14 Warren County employees and administrators were indicted by a Warren County special grand jury, as investigations continue into the embezzlement scandal that has rocked the small town of Front Royal.  Among those indicted were all five members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.  In response, local citizens filed a petition for the removal of those supervisors last week.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Mike Tripp

You may have noticed that autumn leaf colors seem a bit late this year.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp paid a visit to Shenandoah National Park to explore the reasons why.

Mike Tripp

Unless you’ve been living under a sorcerer’s stone, you’ve probably heard of a game called "Quidditch."  And you may be aware that it exists not just in the fictional world of Harry Potter, but in real life too.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp recently met with one Staunton couple to explain this sport, featured during the recent Queen City Mischief & Magic festival.

Qimono / Pixabay

With conspiracies and Devil’s advocates dominating the scientific field, many are left to ask what scientific discoveries hold truth. As science increasingly becomes disputed, Dr. James Zimring, professor of pathology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, explores in his new book how much people should trust what they read, learn, and observe in our natural world.

Eric T. Gunther via Wiki / Creative Commons

On April 16, 2007, 32 people were shot and killed at Virginia Tech.  Journalist Thomas Kapsidelis supervised the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s coverage of the tragedy.  In his new book, Kapsidelis examines the decade after the massacre through the experiences of survivors and those who lost loved ones. 

Bridget Manley

Residents in Harrisonburg plan to petition City Council to provide year-round shelter for people without access to housing.  WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Sari Carp / Sustainability Matters

The Shenandoah Valley is home to vast trees, plants, and wildlife that contribute to the growing Virginia environment. Sari Carp is the Executive Director for the non-profit Sustainability Matters, which works to take initiatives for the environment.

Randi B. Hagi

Nineteen students from around the world gathered at James Madison University in late September for an advanced course in clearing land mines and other weapons from post-conflict areas.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Mike Tripp

It’s been 11 years since the Rocktown Rollers brought the sport of roller derby to Harrisonburg.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp recently visited with a couple of the team’s players, one a veteran returning from an injury and the other relatively new to the team.

Calvin Pynn

Harrisonburg’s International Festival brought thousands of visitors downtown on Saturday.  For the 22nd year, the festival celebrated dozens of different cultures and languages. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn was there.

Randi B. Hagi

While fall and winter are typically touted as “flu season,” the flu can strike at any time of year.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Andrea Turner via Pexels / Creative Commons

Listening to music on vinyl records has made a huge comeback over the years.  Once thought to be a dead format, vinyl is now responsible for a large portion of music sales throughout the world. 

Calvin Pynn

As climate strikes are taking place across the globe today, protesters turned out in Harrisonburg to join the movement. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

One Big Day!

Sep 19, 2019

What a day! Over 160 contributions in one day, $20k matched, and we met the goal of $140,000 at 7:29pm Friday night!

Thank you to all who gave, came in to volunteer, stopped by to encourage support or cheered us on Facebook. With your help, we sucessfuly reached our Fall Goal in just 12 days, while maintaining our More News, Less Noise promise of no programming interuptions.

If you didn't get a chance to give, you can always add your support online anytime.


As leaders around the world prepare to gather for an emergency summit on climate change next week, a global grassroots movement is gaining attention with planned climate strikes this Friday. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Randi B. Hagi

A working group of Virginia’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission held a public forum at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Monday [Sept. 16] to discuss the “History of Lynching in Virginia.”  Monday night’s forum was the group’s first public meeting, and will be followed by similar events in Culpeper and Richmond.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Historian Jon Meacham says the United States’ current political division is nothing new.  In his new book, The Soul of America, Meacham examines times when the country was just as divided. 

During the Vietnam War, if you were a military spouse and your husband became a prisoner of war, you were expected to follow protocol and to keep quiet. You were not to discuss this with anyone except your immediate family. 

In the late 60s, a group of wives defied this policy by going public, ultimately forcing the US government to take steps to bring P.O.W.s back home.

Randi B. Hagi

Governor Ralph Northam visited Harrisonburg Tuesday afternoon to hear from more than 50 local business leaders, workers, and city and county administrators about the area’s job market. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Taber Andrew Bain / Creative Commons

Last year, James Madison University adopted the Green Dot violence prevention strategy, an interactive program focused on building skills to prevent violence and sexual assault on campus. 

Mike Tripp

An archaeological dig is currently underway in the gardens at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton.  It’s a follow-up to another dig at the same place last year.  But the leaders of this summer’s project are a little different from those involved last year – they’re students from James Madison University.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp has the story.

Veteran Charlottesville songwriter, Ellis Paul, was on the road during the Unite the Right rally two years ago which erupted in deadly violence.  Coming back home to a city in mourning prompted him to pen “The Battle of Charlottesville” as a historical document of the incident.  WMRA’s Chris Boros spoke with Ellis Paul who described why this song was something he had to write.

James Madison University

More and more people are discovering the hard way that what you post on your Facebook or Twitter feed can come back to haunt you at your job.  WMRA’s Jason Barr reports on new research that shows the relationship between your employer and your social media account.

Bridget Manley

Yesterday, we launched the first part of an occasional series on WMRA called My World, with an exploration of the environmental effects of Interstate 81.  In today’s follow-up, WMRA’s Bridget Manley examines what the expansion of Interstate 81 might mean for the environment.

Bridget Manley

For a new WMRA series called My World, earlier this year we asked local science students to submit their questions about the environment.  We received a lot of great questions, and selected one from Olivia Gardner, who just graduated in June.  She asked about the environmental health of Interstate 81. WMRA’s Bridget Manley produced a two-part report.  Here’s Part One.

VA Folklife Showcases Apprenticeship Portraits

Aug 2, 2019
Pat Jarret / VA Folklife

Portraits from the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program will be on display starting August 2 at 292 North Gallery in Harrisonburg. The fifty-six portraits were made between 2012 and 2018 by VA Folklife Digital Media Specialist Pat Jarrett.

Randi B. Hagi

According to one report, nearly four in 10 Harrisonburg residents above the federal poverty line still have trouble making ends meet.  That leads to difficult choices -- pay the rent, or buy groceries? Fix the car, or pay for prescriptions? As the number of people facing these questions increases, so does the demand for more affordable housing.  In the second part in an occasional WMRA series on living costs, Randi B. Hagi reports.